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Finalists named for Doctors Nova Scotia community award

April 15, 2016

Dartmouth, NS - Doctors Nova Scotia has selected three finalists for its 2016 community-based Strive Award.

Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association, Nourish Your Roots and Undercurrent Youth Centre are in the running for the $10,000 grant.

They were selected from 39 community groups that applied for the award.

“There are so many worthwhile community-based programs in Nova Scotia, it was hard to choose just three finalists,” said Dr. Michelle Dow, incoming President of Doctors Nova Scotia. “Dedicated community groups and volunteers are doing their part to support the health of citizens at the community level in innovative ways.”

The Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association, based in Aylesford, works with medical and psychological professionals, specialists and the equestrian community to provide a unique and rewarding therapy experience for people of all ages experiencing mental health concerns.
“Our mission is to offer programming without any limitations,” said executive director Brittany Pulsifer. “Strive funding would allow us to continue and expand on our dream, by increasing our ability to offer programming to Nova Scotia’s para-athletes. We cannot wait to contact those who were unable to access our programming without a wheelchair lift.”

An initiative of Nourish Nova Scotia – a registered charity supporting nutrition programs and food literacy in schools – Nourish Your Roots was piloted last fall. Its goal is to connect children and their families to farmers, encouraging them to buy, eat, and cook local food.

“NYR supports the local economy within the farming community and creates an appropriate and successful fundraising campaign in support of other health promotion initiatives within schools, which help ensure that our children and youth are well-nourished so they may reach their potential in life, in learning and in play,” said executive director Margo Riebe-Butt. Were the organization to receive the Strive Award, it would use the money to expand the pilot program provincially.

Glace Bay’s Undercurrent Youth Centre has been offering kids a safe space and promoting an active, social lifestyle since 2010. Up to 400 kids visit Undercurrent weekly, and it’s the organization’s goal to have places for over 1,000 Cape Breton youths to go by 2020. “Undercurrent is very intentional in investing into young people who may not have anyone else helping them grow in a positive direction,” said Undercurrent’s executive director David Sawler. “Strive Award money would increase the number of youth we are capable of helping.”

Doctors Nova Scotia will announce the winner of the Strive Award during its annual general meeting on June 4 in Digby, N.S. The award has been given annually, since 2011, to a Nova Scotia community group making innovative and strategic actions to support and promote health.

Barb Johnson, Doctors Nova Scotia
Tel: 902-481-4915 or by email
Photos and additional information available upon request.

About Doctors Nova Scotia
Doctors Nova Scotia is the professional association representing all doctors in the province. It is the oldest medical association in Canada. The association represents about 2,500 physicians serving patients across the province, and 700 medical students and residents.